Barranquitas, Venezuela is real. Nearly half of its population have inherited a malicious, mutated gene that causes a deadly neurological disease. Marina Valdesa, age 36, lies dying in a Casa Hogar Amor y Fe, or House of Love and Hope. Her nine children will be orphaned and may inherit the same fate as their mother. Daniel, a 39-year-old nursing home resident outside Chicago shares Marina’s deadly diagnosis as researchers in academia and industry attempt relentlessly to discover a cure. Their mutual plight is one of mystery, devastation, hope and soul searching. The quality of their lives gets microscoped just like their diminishing brain cells.
Marina’s 18-year-old daughter Tula, escapes her homeland and accompanies an American volunteer to Chicago to participate in a clinical trial at a leading University Hospital. As Tula is introduced to the latest pharmaceutical attempts and research studies to eradicate the loss of our minds and bodily functions we learn through other characters that salvation arrives from unconditional love. In a world that advocates the benefits of Omega III, fish oil, salmon and blueberries, we cannot put off death. We learn to experience healing without a cure and relief in the face of suffering. The Randomness of Life is a compassionate portrayal of some of life’s real heroes and their families.
Mental diseases often seek to take the very essence of our being from us. “The Randomness of Life” is a novel exploring the diseases that often bring early death and death of the mind, focusing on Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, telling the story of many sufferers of these disorders and how they embrace the last few years of their life by remembering love and living. “The Randomness of Life” is a strong addition to general fiction collections, not to be missed.
Willis M. Buhle Reviewer